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MindWare Academy is an Orton Gillingham based school. The Orton Gillingham program was developed in the early 1920’s by Samuel Orton, a neurologist, and Anna Gillingham, a school psychologist. To this day it is still the only program recommended for students with language disabilities, specifically dyslexia. To be considered an Orton Gillingham program it must be multisensory, it must be systematic and it must be rule based.
We build the Orton Gillingham program into our curriculum in two ways. First, any child who needs remediation for reading will work on the Orton Gillingham program during the time period before lunch. For most students this will be a 1-1 program with a qualified instructor. Second, we build the program into our everyday teaching, especially in the language arts program. Using the multisensory model we teach mind mapping and paragraph writing. Spelling is taught using the rules from the Orton Gillingham program and reading strategies are reinforced using the principles of decoding and blending. Individual progress is recorded so that we know which level every student is working at.
Once students are familiar with the Orton Gillingham system we transition our spelling and reading instruction to Real Spelling. Real Spelling focuses on a combination of morphology, etymology and phonology together and focuses on the meaning of words. We teach students how to investigate words using prefixes, bases and suffixes. Through a series of patterns, rules and laws, the English language is quite ordered and structured and our teaching is set up to target individual knowledge and readiness. Learning where words come from through the etymology and how words are connected to others through word families helps solidify the understanding of the English system. The learning process is ongoing and becomes more complex as students discover and investigate how and why words are spelled the way they are.